Wallice Explores Celebrity Culture and Fame in '90s American Superstar'
Photo: Anna Koblish
Indie rock artist Wallice has finally released her latest highly anticipated sophomore EP, 90s American Superstar. The deadpan yet dreamy body of work explores a hypothetical future fame sardonically and satirically, with equal parts romantic anticipation and ironic apprehension.
According to the singer, the EP was written and recorded with friends at her grandparents’ home in Utah. She describes the overall concept as “a hypothetical look into the celebrity life that lots of musicians and the LA entertainment industry crowd seeks. It’s fun to think about, ‘what if I was famous?’ and how fame can change people,” she says. “Especially since I grew up in LA - I love it here, but it’s a strange place, and it can feel like everyone is just looking for their big break.”
The EP opens with the mellow yet existential intro “Little League.” On the track, she examines her inability to fix the negative traits that have plagues her since childhood. In the pre-chorus, she sings, “I get reckless, I get mean / Been this way since little league / Follow the rules so close it hurts / Try to change, but nothing works.” She reflects on times when she guiltily caved into her overly competitive nature, despite knowing it will sabotage her relationships, resulting in inevitable feelings of guilt.
The record then transitions to the title track, “90s American Superstar,” a tongue-in-cheek single with neat pop edges and off-kilter lyrics that provide a biting glimpse into momentary fame. Wallice resentfully sings, “Stop being so damn dramatic / You just got dropped from Atlantic,” perfectly capturing the situation’s confusion and tumultuousness in her sleek vocals.
“Rich Wallice” is the record’s craftiest jab at materialism and fame, drawing listeners in with its compelling, ominous, and opulent electro backdrop. “John Wayne” is a distorted and dynamic track that details destruction and nights fueled by Adderall. Wallice, who explains she’s wanted in six states, brashly sings, “I’m an outlaw / Do what I want / Unhinged lately / Got a bullet in my gun with your name, baby.”
The EP’s closer “Funeral” is an ethereal and laidback track with unsettlingly relaxed sonic tones and blithely casual lyrics about death. The dark yet whimsical track sees Wallice craft a darkly comic tale where she fantasizes about her funeral. The surrealistic affair is complete with having a party at her boyfriend’s house and a “casket in a muscle car.”
Listen to 90s American Superstar below: